This is a discussion paper reviewing the evidence for acupuncture in the fields of its current Western medical use. It is proven by controlled trials to be effective in pain relief, for dysmenorrhoea, and in nausea and vomiting. It has been found clinically useful in a wide variety of other areas including allergy bladder dysfunction, drug dependency and stroke.
There is an increasing body of evidence that acupuncture is a cost-effective treatment option, and its use has become widespread in pain clinics, hospital rheumatology and physiotherapy departments, and in general practice. Medical acupuncture is now based firmly on modern physiological principles, and an understanding of the opioid and other neurotransmitters involved in needle stimulation has made clinically useful acupuncture practice readily accessible to medical practitioners.
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